Sunday, May 02, 2010
When In Doubt, Distract!
Pope Benedict has taken a break from the child abuse scandals that have been dogging his Papacy:
Pope Benedict XVI all but gave an outright endorsement of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin on Sunday, calling the cloth that some believe is Christ's burial shroud an icon "written with the blood" of a crucified man.
During a visit to the Shroud in the northern Italian city of Turin, Benedict didn't raise the scientific questions that surround the linen and whether it might be a medieval forgery. Instead, he delivered a powerful meditation on the faith that holds that the Shroud is indeed Christ's burial cloth.
"This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus," Benedict said. He said the relic - one of the most important in Christianity - should be seen as a photographic document of the "darkest mystery of faith" - that of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.
When Pope John Paul II visited the Shroud during a 1998 public display, he said its mystery forces questions about faith and science and whether it really was Christ's burial shroud. But he said the church had "no specific competence to pronounce on these questions" and urged continuous study.
Benedict, who has made the interplay of faith and science a hallmark of his papacy, did not mention the role of science and reason in his remarks Sunday.